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Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis Clinic Emphasizes Non-Surgical Treatments

Date:  April 3rd, 2013

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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(MINOT, ND)—Not everyone with aching limbs or joints is a candidate for joint replacement surgery. Accordingly, Trinity Orthopedic Associates is getting ready to launch a special clinic devoted to the non-surgical care of people with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition characterized by the wearing away of cartilage inside the joint. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that increases the risk of fractures. Dr. E. Dexter Scott says that while Trinity's orthopedic specialists have always provided non-surgical treatment for these two conditions, the O&O clinic will be unique.

“Until now we haven't had a clinic dedicated to the care and management of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, two very common conditions that can occur together or separately,” Dr. Scott explained.  “With people living longer and adopting more active lifestyles, we see these conditions developing in more people.  What this clinic intends to do is provide people a clear and efficient pathway to diagnosis, and then to offer a full range of non-surgical treatments before joint replacement becomes an option of last resort.”

The O & O Clinic will serve baby boomers and others with orthopedic complaints, such as people with a past fracture. Patients who take advantage of the O&O Clinic will receive a medical assessment that includes a history and examination.  Patients who are positively diagnosed will be offered a range of conservative treatments, including medications, injections, physical therapy, and recommendations for lifestyle change such as weight loss or exercise.

Dr. Scott says that with so much focus on joint replacement, people may not be aware of the many good options available that do not involve surgery. “We have new medications available for osteoporosis, and a number of companies have come out with improved orthotic
devices.  Some are designed to add heat to a joint, while others have special packs with medication that can be absorbed into the joint to provide support and give relief to limbs and joints,” he said.

Government regulation is another key reason for establishing the O&O clinic, according to Dr. Scott. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has tightened reimbursement for major joint replacement surgery, adding new requirements for documentation of medical necessity.

“Patients now have to be properly screened and diagnosed, and all other treatment avenues must be exhausted before a joint replacement
will be approved through Medicare,” Dr. Scott said, adding, “Not only do we want to make people aware of their non-surgical alternatives, we want to make sure that if they do decide to have a joint replacement down the road, the appropriate documentation is in place.”

Dr. Scott says he plans to offer the O&O Clinic Thursday afternoons twice a month starting in the near future.  To access the clinic people can seek a referral from their primary care provider or call Trinity Orthopedic Associates
at 857-5500. SPACE index.php